D&D General The Case for Evil Orcs (Minor Rings of Power Spoilers)

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I would argue it does because it both informs the fiction and suggests solutions.
okay
For example, if orcs aren't inherently evil servants of the Dark Lord, then immediately the question of why are these orcs attacking this town comes up. That implies some things about the world and invites questions, and it will likely suggest solutions beyond "exterminate!" to the players.
again that "why are they doing this" is a normal question in my games... sometimes "They are mustache twirling villains" is the answer... but not often.
If, however, the orcs are in fact the inherently evil minions of Darkus'lordus, then that implies a different story -- why does DL hate this town? -- and puts the PCs in a different frame of mind.
but if these orcs are wearing the sigil of Darkus'lordus that does the same (hand of sauromon) even if 3 leagues from here is a 3/4 orc community that is a nice fishing village that the town trades with.
Note that I am not saying one is better than the other for any given game, even if in the context of this thread I would advocate the latter.
right I just dont see much diffrence
 

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Stormonu

Legend
Evil orcs, goblins, kobolds and the like have never gone away from my game. At the same time, this hasn’t precluded players from making such characters who weren’t inheritantly evil. I still get to use the humanoid races as fodder, and the players still get to tell their tales as atypical members of these races.

And no, NPCs don’t automatically go out of their way to obstruct or kill these PCs. You could call it the “heroic factor” if you will; unless the player chooses to act as evil as their kin, NPCs essentially sense there is something different about the PC, and they are accepted/tolerated about as much as any other adventurer in the area.
 

Dark Sun?
That will never be a D&D publication again, or not the DS we remember.
Amongst all the deeper thought and pondering it is nice to have an enemy that needs to be fought with all your gusto and relentlessness.
Whether it's Ice Walkers, Slavers, 'Aliens', Zombies, Killer Robots, etc.

It's only 2 episodes in but I like the orcs thus far
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I refuse to believe that reasonable people think crappy racial stereotypes are perfectly acceptable to include in their entertainment, unless they simply don't realize what's there. Hence, speaking out against it.
That's the dispute. A lot of us don't agree with the opinion that an inherently evil race in a game has anything to do with real world racial stereotypes. Clearly that's your opinion and you are entitled to it, but we don't have to share it.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
For the most part, it does. We have drow for elves and half-elves, duergar/derro for dwarves, spriggans for gnomes, orcs for half-orcs...the only ones missing are halflings and humans, and the 3E Book of Vile Darkness (affiliate link) gave us jerren (evil halflings) and vashar (evil humans). Maybe we should have kept those latter two.
Let's never allow anything from the BoXD's into the game again.
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
If the creature is "killable" non-person, then it cant be sapient, mustnt resemble any reallife cultures or combination thereof, and is better off without the capacity of language.

If one wants killable, fight automaton constructs.

If one wants persons, then one enters the reality of interpersonal ethics.
Unless they don't want to enter that reality and would rather just play the game.
 

@Reynard, perhaps you should use the white walkers from GoT instead. Inherently evil, we assume, yet not charged with the racial issues Orcs have become.
funny thing, there is a non zero amount of fans/theorists that predate the show (but the show added too) that think there is no big fight at the end... you can't beat the walkers in war but have to treat with them... to learn they aren't really the 'other'
 


Whether you intend to say things or not, you are speaking in the context of a world in which those issues exist, and are a heavy burden on many people.

The end result, intentional or not, is as if you are walking up to an open mike and saying, "I don't want to say anything about your problems, but what do you think about this setup that seems directly analogous to these problems?"

Every time we try to handwave away major issues for others, we look pretty insensitive to those issues.
on tic tok there is a creator I have avoided interacting with but who is blowing up. He is of the belief that any evil you put in your world that could be even slightly based on real world evil shows that YOU the DM support that evil (yes even if it's the bad guys, yes even if you say its the ancient past and the world out grew that evil). Multi posters have tried to figure out how you have ANY villains if theft, racism, sexism, and murder are all off the table... and I am not sure I agree with any of this.

now having said that I 100% support the idea of talking to your table... maybe 1 table is fine with 1 and not another. I know that I personally want a warning about if there is sexism in a setting, but I default to assuming theft murder and major war crimes will be okay...
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If the creature is "killable" non-person, then it cant be sapient, mustnt resemble any reallife cultures or combination thereof, and is better off without the capacity of language.

If one wants killable, fight automaton constructs.
That would make for a very boring game.

DM: "You enter the room and see the king being held by 4 automaton constructs!"
Players: "Again?! We're 17th level and haven't fought anything else! Can't we fight a vampire?"
DM: "Sorry, those are sapient, have culture and can speak."
 




That would make for a very boring game.

DM: "You enter the room and see the king being held by 4 automaton constructs!"
Players: "Again?! We're 17th level and haven't fought anything else! Can't we fight a vampire?"
DM: "Sorry, those are sapient, have culture and can speak."
again, so you get in and there is an elf, 2 orcs, a dragonborn and a human holding the king... (yeah I made it 5 not 4) and no one questions "wait are all X evil?" not at all... but these guys are your enemies
 

So if I had labeled the thread "The Case for Draconians" instead would the responses be different,do you think? That is, it is specifically the connection between racist tropes and orcs etc... that is the problem? If we cut out that language but still talk about inherently evil biological creatures created by some malevolent cosmic force, is it "okay"?
Draconians are canonically able to have moral choice. Like, there isn't any debate there, there was a whole novel series about "Draconians find out their origin, overthrow their oppressors, and set out on their own"
Maybe we should have kept those latter two.
Vashar had a cool backstory that could have been neat (But was absolutely fumbled) and Jerren were just... Bad. Like, not evil, just bad.
How is it that it's still okay for devils and demons (terms regularly applied to people) to still be evil but not orcs which only have loose association to real world slurs?
Because its not the terms. Its the "One civilisation that puts itself in the position of being 'higher' is using that to crush cultures who aren't at that level of development and justify it by calling the beings being crushed as evil" is something that happened to cultures throughout history.

Demons and Devils are supernatural beings summoned from another realm who don't permanently die, don't really have culture, and exist to do horrible things. Goblins and Orcs are not supernatural. They have children, culture, lives, cities, hopes, dreams. They're people.

I want fun fantasy adventure games, not "Let's reenact real attrocities (its okay we're claiming the people you're doing this against are evil its fine"

If you reallly want an all evil race, make them the Borg or Terminators or something
 

Bagpuss

Hero
Note that this bit about evil races and world building also applies to inherently good races and world building, and I think most D&D worlds need more of those, too.

Ah but the usual reason for why there are inherently evil races is because the evil god that created them doesn't give them the same amount of free-will that good gods give to their creations. Thus inherently good races tend to be race because the sentient races created by good gods, have free-will thus can choose to act in a evil manner.
 

on tic tok there is a creator I have avoided interacting with but who is blowing up. He is of the belief that any evil you put in your world that could be even slightly based on real world evil shows that YOU the DM support that evil (yes even if it's the bad guys, yes even if you say its the ancient past and the world out grew that evil). Multi posters have tried to figure out how you have ANY villains if theft, racism, sexism, and murder are all off the table... and I am not sure I agree with any of this.

now having said that I 100% support the idea of talking to your table... maybe 1 table is fine with 1 and not another. I know that I personally want a warning about if there is sexism in a setting, but I default to assuming theft murder and major war crimes will be okay...
It is hard to fathom how twisted and weird things have gotten. From we are saving the village from scary monsters to: if you dream it, it is YOU.

This is unhinged. Not sure how this person, if serious, operates in the real world.

Turn that nonsense off. This attitude is asking for mental anguish and hand wringing.

There are some of us who are raising families, have very tough jobs and want to knock back a few beers with friends and adventure. No thanks to adding this sort of misery.
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
Like what is functionally different if you run into orc mercenaries who are just okay killing people for money, some orc fanatics that just straight agree with the big bad who is never an orc but is also still good to kill, and just don't imply there's some evil orc village our there with evil old orc ladies baking evil pies and leaving them to cool on evil window sills.
 

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